Nia Long’s youngest son is having a “really tough time” after his father, Ime Udoka, had an affair, prompting the couple to break up after 13 years together.
“My only focus right now is my youngest son ’cause he’s having a really tough time,” the actress, 52, told the Cut of 11-year-old Kez. “I’m sure I have some things that I’m suppressing, but I have to do that to take care of him first. That’s the giving. It’s natural.”
Udoka, 45, was fired as head coach of the Boston Celtics earlier this month after it was revealed that he had been secretly romantically involved with the team’s service manager, Kathleen Nimmo Lynch.
“I’m sure I’ll have to circle back with myself several times to reconcile things,” Long added in the new interview, “but the one thing I’m trying not to harbor is anger.”
The Celtics announced Udoka’s suspension for “violations of team policies” last September, but the “Big Momma’s House” star still resents that the organization publicly disclosed information about her and her now-ex-fiancé’s personal life.
“The Celtics made a choice to make my family business public, and I don’t understand why,” she said. “It could’ve all been handled internally. I do understand why, but I can’t talk about it. Maybe one day I will.”
She continued, “You know, fear drives stupidity, and I’ll leave that right there. I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I ever thought I was.”
Despite the crisis she faced in her family, Long said her fans’ outpouring of support has “saved” her.
“It saved my mental well-being because I felt uplifted by the community in a way that felt like my family was checking in and making sure I was OK,” she shared, “and that, I appreciated.”
Following his suspension, Udoka issued a public apology to his teammates, the Celtics organization and his family for “letting them down” — though he failed to mention his affair.
“I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision,” he said in a statement to ESPN. “Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.”
Long was reportedly “blindsided” by the cheating scandal, which Udoka allegedly only told her about when he knew it would become public.
“No one from the Celtics organization has even called to see if I’m OK, to see if my children are OK,” the “Boyz n the Hood” star said. “It’s very disappointing.”
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